College of Arts and Sciences

Call for Papers

15th Annual EGO / ΣΤΔ Conference

Thriving (or Living) in a Digital World: An Educational Opportunity


The English Graduate Organization (EGO) and the Sigma Tau Delta ( ΣΤΔ ) Phi Delta chapter of Western Illinois University call for paper or panel proposals from graduate students, undergraduate students, and faculty for our fifteenth annual conference in Macomb, IL on Friday, October 19th. and Saturday, October 20th, 2018.


In the 90s, an optimistic Al Gore promised an “information superhighway.” The infrastructure of the postwar interstate highway system transformed how Americans lived and worked, creating new kinds of living (vast suburbs), new pleasures (road trips, muscle cars), and new problems (urban blight, sprawl). The infrastructure of digital life is far larger and more disruptive than the interstates that touched only the edge of town. Our new digital infrastructure runs directly through everyone’s homes, schools, businesses, and government. Indeed, though the smartphone, it has colonized our very bodies. With it comes new kind of living (telecommuting, social media), new pleasures (tinder, trolling), and new problems (fake news, doxing). Moreover, unlike the shared public investment and governance that characterized the the interstate highways, this new digital infrastructure is entirely privatized and almost completely unregulated. It has transformed everything you can think of: work, sex, democracy, childhood, shopping, and education.  How can English Studies help us think about all this? Can we thrive in what the futurist Alvin Toffler conceptualized as “future shock,” a state of “shattering stress and disorientation that we induce in individuals by subjecting them to too much change in too short a time?” We invite conference participants to write about living, thriving, and learning in our new digital reality.


This  year’s conference theme is Thriving (or Living) in a Digital World: An Educational Opportunity, but we welcome paper and panel proposals on any subject in English Studies. We also welcome submissions of creative work .


Keynote: Dr. Kishonna Gray is the author of Race, Gender, and Deviance in Xbox Live: Theoretical Perspectives from the Virtual Margin (Routledge 2014). She will present “ Hypervisible Blackness. Invisible Narratives: the Digital Stories that Games Tell” at 7:00 PM, Friday, Oct. 19th, 2018 in 109 Morgan.


Proposals: Propose a paper or a complete panel, critical or creative. Possible topics could include but are not limited to:

—Big data

—Digital Divides

—Digital film

—Fake news

—Fascism

—Focus on major authors

—Future Shock

—Interventions by feminist, gender, and queer theorists

—Literature for,  against, or beyond the digital

—Resistance movements, from Charlottesville to Parkland

—Pedagogy

—Shakespeare goes digital

—Virtual Violence


Please send 250-word abstracts or inquiries to ego@wiu.edu by September 25th, 2018.


The English Graduate Organization / Sigma Tau Delta Conference

The Department of English, 124 Simpkins Hall, Macomb, IL. 61455.  309.298.1103


For further information, please visit our website: http://www.wiu.edu/cas/english/ego/